Bentley returns to motorsport with the Continental GT3 concept (w/VIDEO)

Based on Bentley’s fastest ever road car – the new GT Speed – the Continental GT3 concept reaffirms Bentley’s philosophy to develop racing cars from their road-going counterparts.

The GT3 is currently being developed by a dedicated motorsport team at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, targeting a return to motorsport towards the end of 2013.

It’s the culmination of many years of customer feedback and the burning desire to relive the success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, when a brace of Bentley Speed 8 prototype racers finished up in first and second place.

Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT.

“The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans.”

The Continental GT3 concept will adopt a new rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, together with a comprehensive aerodynamic package including a ‘huge’ rear wing. The dramatic livery of the car is designed to enhance the muscular form of the Continental GT Speed, while a pair of union jack flags behind each front wheel showcase the marques patriotism.

Equipped for endurance as well as outright speed, the new Bentley Continental GT3 concept will be eligible to race in a range of FIA GT race series, up to and including the 24-hour events at Le Mans, Nürburgring and Spa.